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Geopolitics

Digital VAT? A Tax Windfall If Latin America Finds Consensus

Countries like Argentina, Chile and Mexico have begun charging a value added tax (VAT) on digital purchases. But that may just be the tip of iceberg, especially if governments can reach a regional consensus.

A delivery worker in Buenos Aires, Argentina
A delivery worker in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Héctor Cancino Salas

SANTIAGO — "Hello, and thank you for using our services," says the website, before adding: "We'd like to inform you that from next month, due to fiscal changes in the country, your membership fee will rise with the increase in digital VAT."

In recent months, millions of users of digital services in Latin America have received messages along these lines, and for a simple reason: The digital boom that's been fueled by companies like Rappi, Netflix or Uber, to name just a few, has caught the taxman's attention. And in most cases, it's the consumer who pays.

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Geopolitics

Has Lebanese Politics Finally Freed Itself Of Iran's Influence?

Lebanon's recent elections have shrunk the legislative block led by national power-brokers Hezbollah. But will a precarious new majority be able to rid the government of the long shadow of Tehran?

Supporters of pro-Iranian Hezbollah sit in a street decorated with picture of the party chief Hassan Nasrallah

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Analysis-

The results of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, have put an end to the majority block led by Hezbollah, the paramilitary group concocted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by President Michel Aoun, lost their 71 seats and will now have 62 (of a total 128 seats).

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